Immigration is one of the hottest topics in the political landscape today, especially with the election of Donald Trump as President. In light of this fact, the Immigration Integration Conference is scheduled to be held this week in Nashville, a city that possesses one of the fastest growing immigration populations in the country. This is also the first time this conference is being held in the South.
Considering Nashville to be a model gateway city due to its immigrant integration efforts, in spite of the State of Tennessee imposing harsh anti-immigrant and anti-refuge policies, at least 1,000 people will travel to Music City to attend this conference.
Tara Raghuveer, the Deputy Director of the National Partnership for New Americans, who organizes the conference annually, stated, “Every single issue we discuss at the conference is affected by a new presidential administration.”
Entitled “We The People,” this year’s conference was assisted in Nashville by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refuge Rights Coalition, that in turn was led by Co-Executive Director Stephanie Teatro.
Immigrant health coverage, protecting communities from deportation, rural community outreach, and immigration enforcement are among the topics being covered by the conference. Hate speech, harassment, and hateful violence are others.
Teatro went as far a to call Nashville “A canary in the coal mine,” for lawmakers to pass anti-immigration laws. She also cited a failed 2011 Tennessee law attempting to make Sharia Law a felony, as well as a failed 2009 Nashville initiative that would have made English the official language, as examples of her statement.
The conference occurs about two weeks after Mt. Juliet, that is located 17 miles east of Downtown Nashville, became the first American city to proclaim itself a “sanctuary city” – one that uses policies to limit collaboration with federal immigration enforcements.
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The Nashville Freelancer
Brett Matthew West is a Nashvillian, and long time Freelance Writer, who specializes in everything Country music, feature articles that have been published in several newspapers and magazines around the country, and possesses an extensive online presence for his short stories